Cat Laughs, the school sports day of comedy

Jarlath REGAN thinks Kilkenny’s Cat Laughs comedy festival is the school sports day of Irish comedy. Making his fifth appearance at the festival, he says it’s the relaxed atmosphere that keeps him coming back.

Jarlath REGAN thinks Kilkenny’s Cat Laughs comedy festival is the school sports day of Irish comedy. Making his fifth appearance at the festival, he says it’s the relaxed atmosphere that keeps him coming back.

“There is no pressure to do your full show, this is the beautiful thing about it. With the Edinburgh festival, you’re on your own every single night for 30 nights and that’s really wearing – it’s like a marathon – whereas this is more like a school sports day. Kilkenny Cat Laughs is like everybody on the one pitch, doing egg and spoon races and having a laugh.”

Jarlath isn’t just a comedian, he is also an author and the artistic force behind his own line of greeting cards. His latest book – Putting A Ring on It: What Not To Do When Attempting To Get Married – deals with the difficulty of getting married, from a male perspective. He describes it as “a load of fun, silly ideas and articulated worries that occur to a lot of guys before they get married. By reading my book I think you won’t feel quite as much of a tool. It’s the little book of calm for grooms in a funny kind of way. It gives advice to grooms based on the assumption that most grooms are pretty clueless when it comes to knowing what to do, division of labour responsibilities, what to wear, what not to say.”

At this weekend’s Cat Laughs, he’ll be doing a collection of his best work along with new material he has written for the Edinburgh festival.

Part of his inspiration has come from an unexpected source: “My wife had a baby and I watched. It’s impossible not to find humour in trying to teach a human being to exist and realising how juvenile you are yourself. Even if you aren’t planning on having a baby, we all were babies at one point. I don’t know if you know that, it’s one of the great universals. I’d never look down on anybody doing baby jokes because really and truly they are so unavoidable, they are everywhere, as Jerry Seinfeld said: ‘They’re here to replace us’.”